Tuesday, 13 November 2007

On not actually writing

Am I actually a typer rather than a writer?

I have been browsing those proper writer rooms on the Guardian online again (cannot tear myself away) and am struck at how the majority of them write in long-hand. Oh no, is this where I am going wrong?

As although I jot the initial idea down in pen, mostly I ‘write’ straight onto the computer. If an idea seems particularly sticky, or I want to see it more clearly, I do write that bit out – usually a side of A4 with my untidy sprawl will do the trick – and then it is back to the keyboard.

The main reason I type everything straight up is that my hand gets tired after only a page of writing long-hand. This is dreadful, it means my handwriting skills are slowly going down the pan, and of course, I do little to no actual writing in a day. Even ‘writing’ a letter these days is typed. But I do get a lot of comfort from typing my words – I can type pages upon pages for a start, and all I have to sacrifice is growing my nails long (you cannot type with long nails!). I also like the linear quality of it, of seeing actual words on the screen, of being able to read my own words without wincing at my untidy lettering and the fact that when actual writing I do tend to misspell words or join the wrong ones – typing is much neater. I also think it is quicker to see mistakes and edits – although you cannot see the whole big picture as easily as you can in ink. At least I can’t, for some strange reason.

But I don’t want to be a typer (she wails) I want to be a writer! Maybe if this book didn’t seem so frighteningly urgent, I’d kick back and get a quill or something. And the urgency is all of my own doing, I know. It’s like my happiness is starting to depend upon it - now that’s not scary at all, is it? And chapter ten is still causing me problems… *kicks chapter ten*

No comments: